Opinion Former Article

National Grid publishes UK Future Energy Scenarios

Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict the future? Life would be so much easier if we knew what was going to happen tomorrow, next week or next year. We could all use a view of the future to make better decisions about the challenges ahead.

A significant challenge for National Grid and the UK energy industry is to deliver low carbon energy in an affordable, secure and sustainable way. This will require an estimated £110 billion of investment in electricity generation and transmission up to 2020 to transform the UK’s energy infrastructure

Of course, the reality is that we can't predict the future, but National Grid does produce energy scenarios and has today published the 2013 edition of the
UK Future Energy Scenarios.

Our scenarios set out plausible and credible projections for the future of UK energy. They are based on extensive industry and stakeholder feedback which present pathways to decarbonisation. These scenarios are used as a reference point for a range of modelling activities which help us identify strategic gas and electricity network investment requirements for the future.

This year we have developed two different energy scenarios:

Gone Green
is a scenario designed to meet the environmental targets; 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, greenhouse gas emissions meeting the carbon budgets out to 2027, and an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Slow Progression
is a scenario where developments in renewable and low carbon energy are comparatively slow and the renewable energy target for 2020 is not met. The carbon reduction target for 2020 is achieved but not the indicative target for 2030.

We have dropped the accelerated growth scenario from 2012 which showed us exceeding the deployment of renewables ahead of the 2020 targets. This scenario has been retired based on stakeholder feedback which said that this was no longer a credible scenario.

Our scenarios go into detail about the demand and supply background for both gas and electricity up to 2020 (in detail) but also out to 2050. This four page summary gives a more concise overview while the full document can be found here.


Paul Thompson, Head of Parliamentary Affairs

Peter Abson, Parliamentary Affairs Manager

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